A 19-year-old man was arrested Saturday for allegedly sexually assaulting a girl at Lakewood High School as well as a woman in Bellflower less than two hours apart, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
The suspect was identified Sunday as Joshua Cooper.
Detectives from the Special Victims Bureau were investigating both cases that were reported Friday.
The first incident occurred about 10 a.m. in the 9200 block of Palm Street in Bellflower, according to a news release from the Sheriff’s Department. A 29-year-old woman was walking home when the man attacked and sexually assaulted her, then took her cellphone before leaving the scene, authorities said.
Later that day, the suspect sexually assaulted a girl who was using the restroom at Lakewood High School, according to the sheriff’s statement. He fled when a school employee entered the restroom, officials stated.
The time that passed between the incidents was initially estimated to be about two and a half hours, as a Sheriff’s Department statement said earlier in the day. But Capt. Carlos Marquez of the department’s Special Victims Bureau later told reporters the incidents happened less than two hours apart.
“It is concerning that he did it all within an hour and half of each other so hopefully we have put this to an end at this point,” Marquez said.
Cooper was booked at the Sheriff’s Department’s Lakewood station on suspicion of assault with intent to commit rape, robbery and attempted rape, authorities said.
He was being held in lieu of $220,000 bail as he awaited a court appearance scheduled for Wednesday, inmate records showed.
No other details were released by authorities.